Many many months ago I was jumping around Sickdeals and found a great deal on a DeWalt oscillating tool. I often joked with my other maker friends that I had no idea what they were even for but this was a good deal and I figured at that price I’d pick it up in case I ever needed it or, at the very least, figured out what it was for and what it did. It’s one of the few times I bought a tool I didn’t have an actual use for.
For those not in the know, an oscillating tool has a lot of uses and attachments, but is one of those tools that someone has to show you what to do with it for it to be useful.
Anyway, I had this tool for months before I ever even put a battery on it, then I got Twiki, my CNC. Twiki does a lot of things really well, but one thing you have to deal with are tabs. Essentially tabs keep the cut part attached to the waste part so it doesn't go flying off the machine and turn into a projectile.
One day I was watching a YouTube video in an effort to learn what Twiki could do and how to do it. If you know me, you know I do that a lot. In the video the person took the cut piece of wood off his CNC and then proceeded to plunge the oscillating tool into the grove and cut the tab to free the piece. My head exploded. I immediately started using my oscillating tool to do the same, and wow does it save time. In fact, what used to be a pain in the butt (setting up the jigsaw or taking the piece over to the bandsaw) could now be fixed up in literal seconds.
What got me thinking about this now often-used but also often-underrated tool?
Today I went to Home Depot to replenish some supplies and something interesting happened. I had to buy a new blade for this guy because I used the old one so much I dulled the blade to where it smoked when cutting. I even splurged for an $18 carbide blade, figuring it was a worthwhile investment; a remarkable achievement for a tool I had no use for on the day I bought it.
Do you have a tool you didn't know you needed until you did? Did you buy something because you'd rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it? Let me know in the comments!
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